Monday, 5 January 2015

The Trouble With Foundations

At the time of writing, I own five foundations. I only use three of those foundations on a regular basis... and one of them is a Mineral Foundation, so you might not even count that. That might not sound like much to those who don't hoard their makeup, but it's quite a statement for a beauty blogger. I tend to accumulate lip and eye products fairly easily as I know what I like and the high street does it well. Foundations, however, have always been more of a struggle. I've bought quite a few over the years for trial and error that I stopped using after a couple of pumps, and now I have a much better idea of what I'm looking for in my "perfect" foundation - unfortunately, I'm yet to find it. Here's why...

1. They're too dark.
I'm pretty pale. Like, Snow White kinda pale. The majority of high street foundations are brilliant for girls with a medium skintone, but quite often those at the lightest or darkest ends of the scale get left out of the picture - looking at you, Bourjois. I got a white foundation to help with this problem (the Makeup Revolution: The One Foundation in Shade 1), but honestly it's a bit of a phaff and sometimes I get the ratio wrong and end up looking like a vampire. The L'Oreal True Match Foundation is slightly too dark even though it's the palest shade in the range, which is such a shame because I love the texture and how it applies.

2. They have the wrong undertone.
When I do find a foundation that's pale enough, it often has a strong pink undertone. While I do have a cool undertone on my skin, the problem is that I have so much redness on my face that a pink undertone will make it look worse instead of neutralising it.

3. They contain perfume - or some other ingredient that triggers skin sensitivity.
As I mentioned, I have quite a flushed complexion anyway, but it gets much worse if I use scented products. I will never understand why foundations need to be heavily scented - even if you don't have sensitive skin, why would you want your foundation to smell? 

4. They bring out my dry skin.
I use silicone-heavy primers to glide over dry patches, but a lot of foundations still find a way to cling to my skin. The Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin has none of the other problems on the list - it matches me perfectly and doesn't irritate my skin, but it does emphasis the dryness. Giving it time to "settle" and using a fixing spray instead of powder helps, but doesn't solve the problem entirely. 

5. They don't cover up redness.
As I don't like foundations that are thick and drying, I've tried a few lighter formulas... problem is, they don't have the coverage I need even with more than one layer. I need something that has the best of both worlds but I haven't stumbled across that yet. I was hoping a CC Cream would be good for me - the Gosh CC Cream Illuminating Foundation is the lightest one I could find (but still slightly too dark) however it doesn't give the colour correction I was hoping for.

I have a feeling that I might have to start spending a bit more money on foundations to get the right one for me. My perfect one would be the same shade and coverage as the Revlon Colorstay Foundation, but less drying and easier to apply. Anyone have any ideas?

In the meantime, I'll stick to wearing the Gosh Mineral Powder (which I've reviewed here) and trying to fix my skin, so that I don't have to spend so much time covering it up in the first place.


  1. Love this post! I have the exact same problem - not because I'm pale or dark but because of tone. I usually find most high street foundations tend to have 3 or 4 shades for Caucasian skin, one for olive and one for "dark" and as a light skinned black woman I don't fit any of those. Foundations are always too cool toned or red toned or too yellow. A nightmare! I find the only foundation that suits me is YSL Touche Eclait because they come in colours AND tones. Would love to find a slightly cheaper alternative though haha!

    Drea xo
    Drea's Junkyard

    1. At least it's not just me! Yeah, it seems only the expensive brands have the shade selection required to find the perfect match.

      Have you looked at the L'Oreal True Match range? Only one I can think of that does warm/neutral/cool tones for every colour. Might be worth a look if you haven't already x

  2. I really struggle to find the right shade unless I'm spending £30 :( and totally agree about undertones - brands don't seem to understand it at all! It looks just as bad to put a beige-neutral base on someone with very warm undertones as it does to slap on a base 3 shades too light! xx

    Magpie Jasmine || Palette Giveaway: Urban Decay, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury, Too Faced

    1. I had a feeling only spending more money would help! :( Maybe one day when my budget improves I'll find something better x